A Delhi court, while granting bail to a 34-year-old man accused of setting a school on fire during the Northeast Delhi riots, observed that naming of the accused by a constable was “a very weak kind of evidence”.
Shamim Ahmed was granted bail by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of the like amount.
On February 25, a PCR call was made to Dayalpur police station informing them about an incident of arson at Arun Modern Public Senior Secondary School.
The school principal, Jyoti Rani, had given a written complaint to the police on February 26, reporting that there was a loss of Rs 1-1.25 crore to the school. Shamim has been chargesheeted along with two others.
While granting bail, ASJ Yadav stated that the constable who identified the accused should have reported about him to the police station if he was present at the spot. The court also said that the accused was not seen in any CCTV footage and his call detail records have not been placed on record.
“In my opinion, naming of the applicant by constable Piyush in the matter is prima facie a very weak kind of evidence. Firstly, constable Piyush, if he was present at the time of riots at the spot and had identified the applicant as one of the rioters, then the least he should have done was to have reported about him at the police station, which he did not do. Secondly, his naming the applicant in his statement dated 07.03.2020 is a very weak kind of evidence. The applicant was arrested in this matter on 16.03.2020. At least at that time, the IO (investigating officer) should have got the judicial TIP (test identification parade) of the applicant conducted in the matter. The applicant is admittedly not seen in any of the CCTV footage. His CDR locations are not there on record,” the order read.
Shamim’s lawyer Abdul Gaffar argued that there was a delay in registering the FIR, in which the accused was not named.
He also submitted before the court that Shamim was “arrested in the matter merely on the basis of him having been named by constable Piyush in his statement recorded under section 161 CrPC”.
Special public prosecutor
D K Bhatia argued before the court that Piyush was the beat constable of the area and he knew the applicant to be a resident of the same area.
“On 07.03.2020, his statement was recorded by the IO in the matter wherein he named the applicant and two other persons to be part of unlawful assembly, which had caused damage to the school of the complainant,” Bhatia submitted.
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